JOURNAL OF APPLIED POLYMER SCIENCE, vol.140, no.7, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
In the present study, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membranes were used to improve water purification and fouling performance. Porous PVC flat sheet membranes were produced using the phase inversion method. The polymer concentration in casting solution varied from 11 to 17 wt%. Water contact angles, pore size, overall porosity and scanning electron microscopy were used for membrane characterization. The foulants such as bovine serum albumin (BSA) and humic acid (HA) were used to test the membranes' separation performance and fouling resistance. Contact angle increased from 79.6 +/- 2.2 degrees to 81.9 +/- 1.0 degrees as the polymer concentration increased, while overall porosity decreased from 72.0% to 61.9%. Results showed that BSA and HA permeate flux had similar trend by adding PVC. It was observed that BSA rejection enhanced from 54.8% to 80.7% while HA rejection increased from 76.3% to 88.3% with increasing PVC content. Permeate flux decreased by increase of PVC content due to reduction of porosity and pore size. Besides, the flux recovery ratio, reversible and irreversible fouling studies showed that better fouling observed with increasing of PVC content. The findings of this work show that PVC may be used to improve the separation and antifouling properties for water purification.